Fiji ends medal hopes for USA sevens, Nate Ebner

ByTom Hamilton ESPN logo
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The USA's medal hopes in the men's sevens are over after it was knocked out of the competition by Fiji at the pool stage.

After losing to Argentina and then beating Brazil on Day 1, the U.S. team knew if it beat, drew or lost to Fiji by three or fewer points then it would be in the quarterfinals at the expense of New Zealand. But after a roller coaster match against Ben Ryan's Fiji squad, the U.S. team eventually slumped to a 24-19 defeat.

It's a huge disappointment to coach Mike Friday and his team as they headed into the Games targeting gold with Super Bowl winnerNate Ebner of the New England Patriotsand speedsters Carlin Isles and Perry Baker on the squad.

Danny Barrett scored first for the U.S. against Fiji but the Americans went into the break trailing 12-7. Perry Baker then struck early in the second-half, only for the Islanders to cross twice to take a 24-14 lead.

A late try from Ebner gave the U.S. hope and had Madison Hughes slotted the conversion it would have booked a spot in the knockouts at the expense of the Kiwis. But Huges' kick missed and the U.S. will now play Brazil this afternoon knowing the highest it can finish is ninth.